Like all other countries of the world, Nepal has also its pre-historic period, shrouded in obscurity. Its records of early times are as legendary as those of Homer and India. In the absence of facts and figures and other authentic records which help one to say something definitely about a particular historical event, one has to depend, whether one likes it or not, on myths and legends. Nepal has. its own myths and legends to tell us of its origin. Regarding the origin of Nepal which, in the pre-historic period, was taken to mean only the valley of Kathmandu, Swayambhu Puran and Nepal Mahatmya have it to say that to begin with, Nepal was a lake with no outlet of water whatsoever. The valley of Kathmandu remained under water till Manjushree, a Bodhisatwa (potential Buddha) who came from China on pilgrimage sometime in Tretayuga to pay unreserved homage to Swayambhu which appeared on the lotus that grew out of the seed thrown in the lake by Bipasvi Buddha who came to Nepal sometime in the golden age, cut a rock through which the water of the lake flowed out, making the valley habitable.The authenticity of the legend, though to a certain extent, stands when it is put to the test of geographical and geologicalsurvey.
Nepal-also goes to lend evidence to the fact that Nepal was oncea lake. Ancient Nepal having thus come into existence was ruledover by the rulers of different tribes and clans which immigrated into the valley from time to time. Manjushree not only made the valley habitable but also founded a town which extended from the hillock of Swayambhu- to Guhyeswari and was named Manjupattan after him. He then returned to China after having made Dharmakar (who had accompanied Manjushree to Naghrada,) King of Manjupattan. Dharmakara ruled over theterritory in his own way, but as he had no issue, he made Dharmapal his successor. Dharmapal is said to have come to Nepal with Krakuchhanda Buddha. After him Sudhanwa adescendant of Dharmapal, Kushadhoj brother of King Janaka, and some other kings ruled over the country successively. Later on, Nepal is said to have been ruled over by Prachanda Deva from Gaur (present Bengal). He is said to have been sent to Nepal by Kankamuni Buddha who came to Nepal on pilgrimage. Basupur, Agnipur, Bayupur, Nagpur and Shantipur-all shrines dedicated to the different elements of nature as earth, fire, air, water etc, which stand even to this day in the precincts of Swayambhu, are said to have been built by Prachanda Deva. After the death of Prachanda Deva, his son Shakti Deva ruled over Nepal. After him Gunakama Deva and his son Simha Ketu ruled over the valley. Gunakama Deva is said to have founded the city of Kathmandu. According to some sources it was about 723 A.D. If we are to accept those sources, the city of Kathmandu was founded twelve hundred forty eight years ago. From this it can be affirmed that Gunakama Deva must have only extended the city and not founded it, but its authenticity still awaits research and investigation.